What determines your risk of disease? Your cells. Disease does not happen overnight, it takes many years for it to develop. Meaning you have to be pro-active now!
I was reading about markers for diseases that appear in the body many years before the disease develops. This theory was proven by looking at blood work of military personnel that had developed lupus later in life. Military personnel are great study participants because their labs are taken the moment they enter the service and tracked over their life. What they discovered is the people who developed lupus in their 40s or later showed markers in their blood in their 20s.
Breathing and Cellular Health. Cellular health is your best preventative medicine.
You can take this journey to better health a step deeper by thinking about your cellular health, which is the root of your health. Deep breathing stimulates cellular breathing or cellular respiration. Every cell in your body takes in oxygen and gives off carbon dioxide. We use deep breathing to saturate our blood with oxygen. When we follow a deep inhale with a full exhale, we help to move oxygen from the blood to the cells in our tissues. This improves the health of each cell in our body because the cells become more efficient at taking in oxygen and expelling toxins.
Disease starts when a cell lacks oxygen. When a cell does not receive adequate oxygen, putting it in a state known as hypoxia, it mutates, one or two mutated cells might not be a big issue, but if more and more cells mutate, disease takes a stronger hold on the body. Keeping your cells healthy is the root of preventing disease. Deep breathing is one of the easiest ways to improve cellular health.
Filling your body with O2 and circulating more O2 to your cells and tissues are preventative medicine techniques at a CELLULAR level. Prevent disease before it sets into your tissues.
It’s that simple. Simple but not easy sometimes!
Cellular health depends upon two processes — getting nutrients into a cell and getting toxins out.
- Oxygen plays a vital role in every metabolic process in our body. Good health depends on efficiently absorbing and utilizing nutrients at a cellular level. Oxygen is what breaks down food in the cell, releasing nutrients into the cell and turning sugar into energy. It’s like plant photosynthesis in reverse. Remember the Krebs cycle? (I love how we are one with the universe.) Photosynthesis and respiration are the same only in reverse. Photosynthesis is the process of a plant turning the sun’s energy into sugar, and respiration is the process of our cells turning that sugar back into energy.
- Healthy cells are aerobic, meaning they have adequate levels of oxygen. When cells are deprived of oxygen, decay sets in.
- One of the primary causes of cancer has been directly related to cells deprived of oxygen. Cancer cells are anaerobic and thrive in an oxygen-deficient environment.
And the other side of breathing – the release of carbon dioxide. Health is also dependent on how effectively the body removes carbon dioxide, toxins and waste.
Cellular waste is removed from the body in several ways:
- Most toxins are dissolved in water or fat and transported to the kidneys or the liver and colon to be excreted in our urine or bowel movements.
- Some of the most toxic poisons in the body can only be “burned up” and neutralized through oxidation — deep breathing — exhaling the carbon, fat, and toxins from our lungs. Have a good breathing session and “POOF” — toxins gone.
Breathe deep and oxygenate your cells while you burn up toxins.
Get blood flow to every cell in your body.
Once you get your blood well oxygenated, circulate that oxygen to every single cell in your body. It is needed in EVERY cell in your body.
When your heart lacks adequate blood flow, you have a heart attack. When your brain lacks adequate blood flow, you have a stroke (or brain attack). When your big toe lacks adequate blood flow (maybe due to tight shoes or long-distance running), you have a “big toe attack”. Cells in your toe actually die putting you at risk of developing a bunion or arthritis, while losing a few toe cells is probably not a big deal, losing more might be. The more healthy cells that die or mutate, the more problems, aches and pains you experience. Every cell in your body needs movement: movement of blood, lymph, hormones, and much more. You want to circulate blood to every cell in your body to keep every cell healthy.
In yoga, we squish, move, squeeze, and soak all our internal organs. This is why. We want circulation and movement to every cell in our body so the cells can stay healthy.
Something you may hear in a yoga class is to “send your breath” to a certain area of your body.
Over the years, people have told me they have a hard time visualizing this; when you realize that every cell in your body “breathes,” you may find it easier to make that connection. Where do you think the carbon dioxide you are exhaling comes from? Cells all over your body. What do you think uses all the oxygen you are inhaling? Cells all over your body. Every cell in your body takes in oxygen (from your blood) and releases carbon dioxide (into your blood) to be carried back to the lungs. This is intra-cellular breathing. Every cell in your body, from your pinky toe to your brain, inhales and exhales.
The Power of your breath — Breathing into different areas of your body
By engaging your mind to consciously breath into a specific part of your body, you can increase your cellular health in that area. Focusing the breath on an area of your body encourages your cells in that area to take in more oxygen and expel more carbon dioxide and toxins, thereby possibly improving a healing process or at least having the cells work more efficiently. We can “breathe into” different areas of our bodies, or even use our minds to direct our breath. Evidence from biofeedback devices shows we can increase blood flow in an area of the body by just thinking about it. So, it is not too ethereal to say that when you are “breathing into” a certain area of your body you are using your mind to improve control of your body functions.
Don’t worry about body breathing into all your cells! That could be a little overwhelming. Just choose an area in your body and focus on it. Don’t worry about doing it incorrectly or correctly. Every cell in your body knows how to breathe, whether you think about it or not.
Cells will go through 5 stages to get fully diseased.
- stressed – don’t perform as efficiently due meaning they take in less nutrients and put out less toxins. This first state leads to inflammation. This is the warming sign we need to be aware of because it is silent and can go on for years.
- weakened — cells get exhausted from overworking in-efficiently and become vulnerable to germs and outside invaders. You will start to get sick more often than usual, have hormone al imbalances maybe not sleep well, mood is effected, brain fog, etc.
- Dysfunctional – as groups of cells get dysfunctional it leads to organs not functioning. For example if its the kidneys blood pressure will go up, pancreas = blood sugar issues, when the liver becomes dysfunctional it releases enzymes that can be detected in a blood test. A dysfunctional cell can be repaired but it is much more difficult in this stage than the previous.
- Mutated – Now the free radicals can reach the nucleus of the cell and start to erode it. And the free radicals keep ravaging cells until you have more mutated cells than healthy cells.
- Disease. The cells can no longer function and you are diseased.
The disease stage is extremely difficult to stop or reverse.
This process is initiated by exposure to free radicals such as those found in chemicals or from stress in your body, while experiencing a lack of nutrients. This deterioration happens over many years.
To keep your cells healthy: reduce free radicals and chemical exposures, eat colorful organic vegetables and enough protein, and learn how to breathe correctly! Breathing reduces disease at the cellular level.
Correct breathing? Nasal breath, not too shallow. All day and all night. Extending the exhales is helpful in getting oxygen to the tissues where it is needed.